DH8D, vicinity Medford OR USA, 2003

Summary: 

On 8 January 2003, a DHC8-400 sustained multiple bird strikes during a night visual circuit at the Medford airport, OR, USA, resulting in loss of flight displays, multiple false system warnings and the shattering of the LH windscreen. The Captain sustained significant facial injuries and temporary incapacitation with a successful approach and landing being completed by the co-pilot.

Event Details
When: 
08/01/2003
Event Type: 
AW, BS, HF, LOC
Day/Night: 
Night
Flight Conditions: 
VMC

18752

Flight Details
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Flight Origin: 
Intended Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
Yes
Phase of Flight: 
Descent
Location
Location - Airport
Airport: 
BS
Tag(s): 
Large Birds, Flocking Birds, Significant Airframe Damage, Flight Crew Injury, Migration
HF
Tag(s): 
Flight Crew Incapacitation, Spatial Disorientation
LOC
Tag(s): 
Airframe Structural Failure, Significant Systems or Systems Control Failure, Degraded flight instrument display, Environmental Factors, Bird or Animal Strike
EPR
Tag(s): 
“Emergency” declaration
AW
System(s): 
Airframe, Other
Contributor(s): 
Damage Tolerance
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
Major
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
Few occupants
Occupant Fatalities: 
None
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
None Made
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On 8 January 2003, a DHC8-400 sustained multiple bird strikes during a night visual circuit at the Medford airport, Oregon, USA, resulting in loss of flight displays, multiple false system warnings and the shattering of the LH windscreen. The Captain sustained significant facial injuries and temporary incapacitation with a successful approach and landing being completed by the co-pilot.

Synopsis

This is an extract from the Brief of Accident published by the National Transportation Safety Board (USA) (NTSB) (12 Dec 2004):

"The aircraft, which was on a downwind for a night visual approach, impacted a flock of Lesser Scaups (diving ducks). The nose structure of the aircraft and the windshield directly in front of the captain received multiple bird strikes. Some of the birds penetrated the aircraft's skin, but there was no direct penetration of the windshield. Although the windshield was not penetrated, hundreds of small pieces of glass were ejected from the most inner of the windshield's three panes, and approximately 70 of these pieces imbedded themselves in the face, forehead, and scalp of the captain. The first officer ultimately completed a successful landing, while using backup flight instruments. The investigation determined that the windshield certification process defined in Part 25 of the Federal Aviation Regulations and the Canadian Aviation Regulations does not take into account the effects of multiple bird strikes on the same windshield."

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